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The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
18 High Street,
|Fri 20 Sep - Fri 20 Jun||Wise Words for Wellbeing - Poetry Workshops|
|Fri 17 Jan - Sun 16 Mar||Investigating Portraits family trail|
|Fri 17 Jan - Sun 16 Mar||Manet Explorer Point activities|
|Fri 17 Jan - Sun 16 Mar||Manet's 'The Execution of Maximilian'|
|Fri 17 Jan - Sun 16 Mar||Political Art and Martyrdom|
|Wed 22 Jan - Wed 19 Mar||More Great Paintings|
Manet’s ‘The Execution of Maximilian’ has been described
as ‘among the most moving and most tantalising pictures in the National Gallery’. It depicts the fatal moment when the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, captured by Mexican revolutionaries, was executed alongside two of his generals in June 1867, and was painted as news of the event was reaching France. Maximilian had been installed by French force as Emperor of Mexico in 1863,
after a multi-national army ousted the revolutionary Benito Juarez, who had overthrown the previous Mexican leader.
Maintaining French rule had been costly, however, and
French troops were withdrawn, abandoning Maximilian to an inevitable fate. Manet painted the sensational event on a large scale. He dressed the firing squad in French rather than Mexican uniform, thereby implying French responsibility for Maximilian’s death. The painting was never exhibited and Manet’s lithograph version was banned from publication. Cut up after Manet’s death, the painting’s fragments were bought and reunited by Edgar Degas, and acquired by the National Gallery at his sale in March 1918.
At the Beaney Manet’s masterpiece is the focus of an exhibition and supporting programme looking at how
artists, including photographers, have created iconic images that come to define events involving political killing.
Exhibits include paintings and prints from Canterbury
Museums’ collections depicting the murder of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral; prints after paintings of political executions by Jean-Léon Gérôme and Paul Delaroche; images of Communard executions by Manet and James Tissot; engravings of heretics burned at the stake in seventeenth century Canterbury; and photographs by Robert Capa and Eddie Adams from the
Spanish Civil War and Vietnam War. Particular highlights are four etchings by Francisco de Goya from the ‘Disasters of War’, which inspired Manet’s composition.
|Fri 17 Jan - Sun 16 Mar 2014|